More Americans are seeing autonomous vehicles as the way of the future, according to a new HNTB survey.
The survey, The Road to Autonomous Vehicles – 2018, found that 70 percent of Americans expect that autonomous, self-driving vehicles will be commonplace in America within the next 15 years.
When asked to identify benefits that automated vehicles will bring, 51 percent of all respondents identified increased mobility for non-drivers, such as the elderly or people with disabilities, as the single most important benefit. Other benefits noted included reduced accidents and increased safety that was cited by 41 percent of all respondents compared to 49 percent of millennials and improved safety for pedestrians and bicyclists by 23 percent of all respondents versus 33 percent of millennials.
“Providing improved mobility to population segments, such as the blind and disabled, will be transformative for them,” said Jim Barbaresso, HNTB’s intelligent transportation systems national practice leader and senior vice president. “Think about the economic benefits that could be gained by offering opportunities to currently underserved segments. This will happen quite soon. In fact, we are already beginning to see these technologies advancing into real-world testing with their implementation in a number of smart city programs around the nation. It is both a challenge and significant opportunity as transportation agencies weigh current infrastructure needs with the onset of autonomous and connected technology.”
In addition, the survey also said that 59 percent of Americans believe autonomous vehicles are not as safe as vehicles operated by people, and 55 percent would not be willing to even ride in an autonomous vehicle today. The survey also found the presence of a person who could, if necessary, assume control of the vehicle, would likely convince 60 percent of Americans to ride in a self-driving vehicle.